Gift cards & certificates

What do you do if you have a gift card or gift certificate but the company goes out of business?

Liz Brocker, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Attorney General’s office in Bismarck, said gift cards should be used as soon as possible.

For more information about gift cards and gift certificates, Brocker said people can go to the N.D. Attorney General’s office website at for information. The website contains a variety of information about consumer rights

The section on the website about gift cards and gift certificates states:

” ‘Universal’ prepaid gift cards (for example, those with a Visa or MasterCard logo) are the most frequently purchased type of gift card because they can be used anywhere major credit cards are accepted. North Dakota’s gift card law does not apply to these cards. If the gift card is not used within the time specified by the card issuer, service charges may be deducted from the card’s value or the card may expire and the unused balance forfeited.

“North Dakota’s gift card law applies only to gift cards and gift certificates purchased for use at a specific retail store or service. These gift cards and certificates must be valid for at least six years from the purchase date and maintenance fees cannot be deducted from the value of the gift. Use these types of gift cards as soon as possible; if the company goes out of business or files bankruptcy, the gift card is worthless.”